U Albany to Research How to Reduce Traffic Light Idling Time
An associate professor at the University at Albany School of Business (NY) has been awarded a $378,375 grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation to study how traffic lights may be more efficiently organized for drivers to save time and gas. The goal of the research is to improve traffic light synchronization through a self-organizing system, avoiding the idling time for drivers that hit six red lights in a row, for example, and helping to reduce carbon emissions.
U Arizona Expands Bike Program
The University of Arizona has extended the free trial period for its bicycle valet program and expanded its bike share fleet. The valet will be free to students and faculty until Jan. 30, 2011, to allow more people to test the system. Due to the success of the bike sharing program, the university will add 15 additional bikes to its existing fleet of 10.
U Calgary Prohibits Idling
The University of Calgary (AB) has announced a new policy that prohibits vehicles on campus to be left idling unattended for more than three minutes when the temperature is warmer than 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Violators will be subject to fines that will be reinvested in sustainable transportation initiatives including the construction of secure bike parking facilities. Students, staff, faculty and visitors make more than 40,000 vehicle trips to and from campus, according to the university. The school hopes that the new policy will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus and improve regional air quality.
SUNY Empire State College Launches Faculty Bike Share
SUNY Empire State College (NY) has launched a bike share program that allows faculty to take bikes out to commute between the main campus and distance learning facility. The bikes will be split between the two locations and also available for lunch or recreational rides.
U Pennsylvania Starts Sustainable Transportation Initiative
The University of Pennsylvania has debuted green buses as part of its Sustainable Transportation Initiative. The university purchased eight new low-emission vehicles: four buses capable of running on both ultra-low sulfur diesel, and four propane-powered shuttle vans. The new vehicles transport faculty, students and staff around campus. The initiative also includes expanded car-sharing options through a contract with Zipcar, parking benefits for low emission vehicles and a redesigned transportation website.
Guilford College Expands Sustainability Efforts with Bike Shop
Recycles, a new bicycle shop, has opened on the Guilford College (NC) campus. The shop hopes to promote sustainability on campus with work study opportunities for students to work in the shop and educate the community about bike safety and maintenance. An idea that originated from the college's environmental sustainability coordinator, the bike shop opening is part of the “Green and Beyond” theme year that is expanding efforts toward carbon neutrality for the college.
U Denver Celebrates Bike and Walk to School Day
The University of Denver (CO) celebrated Bike and Walk to School Day with a free lunch for the first 150 students, faculty and staff who rode to campus and showed the key to their U-Lock. Additional riders received a lunch coupon good at local establishments. The university’s transportation center used the event to celebrate cyclists who help decrease the campus’s carbon footprint. Cyclists were offered many free services from participating community members and businesses.
Michigan State U Partners with Fuji for Affordable Bikes
Michigan State University has partnered with Fuji Bicycles to introduce a program that allows students, faculty and staff to purchase new Fuji bikes on campus at reduced prices. Fuji sells colleges new bikes at reduced prices and in turn, bike shops extend lower prices to customers to make cycling more appealing. The university has sold more than 60 Fuji bikes since the program launched.
San Diego State U Opens Bike/Skate Lane
San Diego State University (CA) has opened a new bike and skate lane on campus. The lane is the result of a campaign by the Associated Students group, who commissioned a landscape architecture firm to study the possibility of bike lanes on campus. After the lane's one-year trial period, the university will consider a more extensive, permanent inner-campus route of several lanes in spring/summer 2011. The installation of campus-wide bike lanes will help mitigate traffic and increase accessibility to alternate transportation.
Susquehanna U Launches Bike Share Program
Susquehanna University (PA) has launched a bike share program that enables students to borrow university-owned bicycles. The university has purchased 30 bikes including vintage-inspired cruisers, multi-speeds and scooters. The fee for a year-long membership is $20 and students will receive a universal key for all the bike locks. Participants will receive $10 back when they return the bike lock key at the end of the year. The university plans to hold a contest where students will have the opportunity to name the bikes.
U Albany Partners with Hertz for Student Car Rentals
The University at Albany (NY) has partnered with Hertz to offer students 18 years and older the use of a rental car. Four cars are available to students and faculty at an eight dollar per hour charge that includes a gas card and liability insurance. Also new this year is an extended number of buses that students are able to ride for free with a student ID, a carpooling service, a ride share program and a bike share program.
U Colorado at Boulder Starts Car Share Program
The University of Colorado at Boulder has launched the eGo CarShare program. Sponsored by Parking and Transportation Services, the program provides a new way for students, faculty and Boulder residents to be a part of alternative transportation. The program allows a car rental for use in the Boulder-Denver area as an alternative for those who generally commute by bike or bus. Members must be at least 18 years of age to participate and a credit card is located inside the vehicle to pay for gas.
U Massachusetts Medical School Purchases Electric Bicycles
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has purchased two Pietzo electric bicycles and one 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid car as sustainable alternatives for the parking and campus police departments. Prior to the electric bikes, police officers used at least one and a half tanks of gas a week driving a pick-up truck around campus on their daily rounds. Now, driven mostly during severe weather, the truck goes nearly two and a half weeks on a tank of gas.The hybrid, which replaced one of the department’s seven gasoline-fueled vehicles, gets an average of 41 miles per gallon in city driving.
U Oklahoma Adds Electric Vehicles to Fleet
The University of Oklahoma has purchased electric vehicles to add to its transportation fleet in an effort to conserve fuel and lessen the amount of pollution released. The university hopes to eventually convert its entire fleet to electric vehicles.
U South Florida Retrofits Golf Cart to Solar
The University of South Florida has retrofitted a golf cart with solar panels as a test run. As the test cart’s panels cost about $800 including installation, the university has determined that retrofitting existing campus carts will be cheaper than buying solar-powered carts brand new at $9,000 or more each. Once the first cart has used solar energy for an entire year, the Physical Plant department will decide when to convert the rest of the fleet. The university also purchased two electric trucks with solar rooftops. Staff will use one truck to deliver mail and another to deliver custodial supplies across campus.
Georgetown U Receives Two Electric Cars for Research
Georgetown University (DC) has received two Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicles as part of an international electric vehicle research initiative with the Toyota Motor Corporation. The university will install two vehicle charging stations and several university employees will have the opportunity to test drive a vehicle for three months. The new Prius can run on electricity for about 13 miles, after which it operates as a conventional Prius.
Kent State U Launches New Bike Share Program
Kent State University (OH) has launched a new bike sharing program. The university’s Flashfleet provides bicycles, helmets and locks daily at six locations on campus. The service is free to students, faculty and staff who use their campus ID to sign out a bike. Guests, with a valid driver’s license, can participate if a student or staff member assumes liability. The 50 bikes in the program will be maintained by the Department of Recreational Services.
Temple U Bike Program Offers Safety and Skills Classes
Temple University’s (PA) Bike Temple has partnered with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to offer safety and skills classes on the campus. The 90-minute class covers riding in an urban environment, signaling, anticipating traffic movements, observing traffic rules and bike maintenance. Bike Temple was launched last year to promote a bike culture among students, faculty and staff.
Washington State U Expands Bike Program
Washington State University’s Green Bike program has expanded its fleet from 40 to 72 bikes, including the addition of 32 BIXI bicycles. BIXI is a bicycle system being used in locations worldwide and is derived from the combination of bicycle and taxi. Students, faculty and staff can check out a BIXI bike by swiping their university ID card. The bikes can be returned any time in the next 24 hours to any station. The check out stands are solar powered and use wireless communication.
Appalachian State U Orders Hybrid Bus
Appalachian State University (NC) has ordered a hybrid electric/diesel bus to add to its AppalCart transportation fleet. The university is waiting on a federal grant to order a second $575,000 bus and expects both to arrive for use next year. AppalCart hopes to eventually double its 16-bus fleet, which currently includes eight buses that run on biodiesel.
Drury U Loans Bikes to Students
Drury University (KS) is now offering bikes on loan to students. Bicycles are available for check-out during the debut semester free of charge pending the return of the bikes in good condition. The university used money generated from a student green fee to purchase the bikes and create a new bike path. Remaining funds will be spent for a storage structure to protect the bicycles from the elements.
Harvard U Offers Car Sharing Program to Drivers Under 21
Harvard University's (MA) Transportation Services recently announced the expansion of its 10-year partnership with Zipcar, Inc. to include a campus car sharing program for drivers under 21 years old. Zipcar will double its on-campus fleet to up to 20 cars that will be available to area residents and university affiliated members including those under 21. The university has also partnered with Zimride, an online rideshare interface where Harvard students, faculty and staff can find one-time rides or others with similar commuting times.
Lehigh U Debuts Car Sharing Program
Lehigh University (PA) has partnered with WeCar, a car sharing program run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to offer on-campus access to car rentals for personal use. WeCar rentals are available to students, faculty and staff on an hourly, overnight and full-day basis with an initial enrollment fee of $25. The university hopes to take cars off the road and increase student mobility.
U Buffalo, Boise State U Partner with Zipcar Car Sharing Service
In separate deals, the University at Buffalo (NY) and Boise State University (ID) are the latest of more than 200 universities to partner with Zipcar, Inc. to provide faculty, staff and students with a car sharing service. Three vehicles will be made available to the University of Buffalo campus community and four vehicles to the Boise State University community. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will cost members at both universities $35 annually. Goals at both universities include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, ease of traffic congestion and lowered barriers to alternative transportation.
U Florida Brings Back One Less Car Challenge
The University of Florida has brought back the One Less Car Challenge this fall for the third year. The campus community is challenged to use alternative transportation on One Less Car Day and throughout the semester. Participants can earn points for each trip traveled by alternative transportation. The Office of Sustainability will provide information about the various transportation options available. The challenge ends November 19.
U Northern Iowa Opens Green Transportation Center
The University of Northern Iowa has unveiled a solar-powered transportation center. Solar panels installed on the building's top deck and a geothermal heating system supply almost all electricity for the net-zero center. A collaboration between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the cities of Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, the university building features 587 parking spaces, an elevator, vending machines, a waiting area and 10 lockers for bicycles. The center is designed to provide students, faculty, staff and visitors easier access to and within the campus and surrounding communities.
Richard Stockton College Creates Green Parking Lot
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is foregoing the traditional asphalt used for parking lots in favor of a porous surface of plastic grids. The 1.86-acre parking lot will feature recycled polyethylene grid sections that lock together to form a surface that supports cars and light trucks. A mixture of top soil and EcoSoil—a composted blend of yard waste collected by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority—will fill the open spaces in the grids, allowing for grass to germinate. Rainfall will soak through the parking lot without the need for storm drains.
SUNY College Enviro Science and Forestry Turns Butter into Fuel
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will turn an 800-pound sculpture made entirely of butter into biodiesel. The sculpture, which debuted at the New York State Fair, presents the future of dairy farming as an environmentally friendly endeavor and will end up as fuel for the ESF vehicle fleet. This is the third year that the college will turn butter into fuel as an extension of ESF's ongoing initiative that turns frying oil from campus dining services into biodiesel.
New York U Pilots Student-Initiated Bike Share Program
New York University has kicked off the pilot phase of its bike share program. With support from the university's Sustainability Office, a group of students designed the program with the long-term goal of lowering barriers like cost and experience for campus bicyclists. At the start of the university's academic year, bikes will be available in several residence halls for rental by students, staff and faculty. The program will expand based on demand.
U Kansas Students Convert VW Beetle to Plug-in Hybrid
The University of Kansas engineering students, known as the EcoHawks, have converted a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle into a plug-in series hybrid with 25 miles of all-electric range. The hybrid burns 100 percent biodiesel made from cooking oil collected from the campus kitchen. The students hope to improve the design and equipment to achieve a vehicle that gets 500 miles per gallon. The EcoHawks also received a $10,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to build a small-scale smart grid system.
Dickinson College Grads' Bike Tour Promotes Sustainability
Dickinson College (PA) graduates Andre Lekich and Avi Keremidchieva recently completed a 3,200-mile cross-country bike tour to promote the college's sustainable transportation initiatives. The two traveled from Pennsylvania to Oregon with the aim to reconnect with Dickinson alumni and encourage people to ride their bikes, often staying with strangers who let them sleep in their garage or backyards. To hear their stories from the road, visit http://blogs.dickinson.edu/bikeacrossusa.
State U New York ESF Grad Student Uses Wood for Fuel
A State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry graduate student has converted a truck to run on wood in an effort to prove the sustainability of biomass material for use in powering engines. Because wood fuel gets about 30 percent less mileage than fossil fuels, the research is aimed toward the use of biomass fuels in farm vehicles, electric generators or communities in developing countries.
U Missouri to Unveil Bike Rental Center
The University of Missouri has planned to implement a resource center for renting and repairing bicycles on campus. The Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee will finance the majority of the program. Rental and membership fees have yet to be decided.
Alabama A&M U to Begin Producing Biofuel
Alabama A&M University has partnered with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc. and bioenergy venture Willbrook Solutions, Inc. to improve campus bioenergy efforts. Willbrook Solutions has donated a prototype biodiesel processing unit for experimental research. Toyota will donate 100 gallons of waste vegetable oil for conversion to biodiesel each month. The biofuel produced will help power transit vehicle operations on campus.
College of William & Mary Uses Wild Algae for Biofuel
The College of William & Mary (VA) has launched an experiment to produce biofuels from oil extracted from wild, naturally growing algae. This is the first freshwater experiment of the college's year-old Chesapeake Algae Project, funded by Norwegian energy company Statoil. More robust, fast-growing and plentiful than their monoculture counterparts, wild algae can be converted into a variety of biofuel products including biodiesel, ethanol and butanol.
Rochester Inst of Tech Student Awarded Electric Energy Fulbright
A master's student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been awarded a Fulbright Student Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study the potential impact of electric vehicles on Singapore's transportation sector. Samir Nazir, a student in the science, technology and public policy program, will spend a year as a visiting scientist at the University of Singapore. The work builds on research Nazir conducted at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which analyzed various types of power plants using both conventional and alternative energy technologies.
U Wisconsin Oshkosh, Elon U Launch Social Network Carpool Service
In separate partnerships, Elon University (NC) and the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh have joined with the San Francisco-based company, Zimride, to launch a campus social network for carpooling. The company created a Facebook-integrated platform to help its users share commutes or one-time rides. Faculty, staff and students at Elon University and the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh will help to reduce campus traffic and parking congestion by finding others with similar commuting patterns using the website.
American U Sharjah Students Test Vehicle Emissions
Environmental sciences students at American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) recently conducted vehicle emissions testing for air quality as a public service. The initiative was designed to increase student awareness about their vehicles and the types of pollution they cause. The vehicles received unofficial testing of toxic gases such as VOCS, CO and C3.
Palestine Polytechnic U Students Build Solar Car
With limited funds and resources, engineering students at Palestine Polytechnic University have built a solar car from scratch. The car's electric engine is fed by a battery that stores energy harnessed from roof-mounted reflective solar panels. The students were part of a university project to develop renewable energy sources to replace diesel and petrol. The university hopes that the project will attract funding to enable further development.
U New South Wales Announces Electric Car Fleet
The University of New South Wales (Australia) has committed to an electric vehicle fleet as part of a research and infrastructure agreement. Electric vehicle provider, Better Place, will provide charge spots and additional services to support the fleet in a new solar precinct to be established by the university. The university will also begin research to investigate the impact that charging significant numbers of electric cars will have on Australia’s power grid. New solar panel arrays will generate most of the energy needed for an electrical vehicle fleet.
U New England Expands Bicycle Program
The University of New England (ME) has expanded its on-campus bicycle program. Prospective students and their families can now take a two-hour tour through campus by bike, ending with lunch and a presentation. Current students now have access to free bicycle rentals, enhancing the existing option for free bicycles or Zip cars to first-year students who do not bring cars to campus.
Virginia Polytechnic Launches Employee Van Pool
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has launched an employee van pool as part of a series of programs designed to reduce driving and the need for parking spaces. The van pool is geared toward full-time employees who live more than 10 miles from campus. The university provides a minivan from its fleet and allows riders to fuel up on campus. In exchange, each rider pays up to $75 a month to cover expenses. Forty-five percent of full-time university employees are using alternative transportation.
Delta College and Saginaw Valley State U to Start Campus Shuttle
Delta College (MI) and Saginaw Valley State University (MI) have partnered with Bay Metro to provide a campus park-n-ride route. Delta College hopes that the new bus route will alleviate the need for additional parking spots in the future and help reduce the campus' carbon footprint. To start, 30 parking spots will be available, with plans to put in bike racks. The cost per ride is 75 cents for students.
Washington State U Students Initiate Bike Rental System
Students at Washington State University have funded the BIXI bicycle system, to debut this fall. The bike program will allow students to take a rental bike from any given location and drop it off at another during a free, 24-hour rental period. The campus will receive 30 BIXI bikes with four docking stations.
Emory U Debuts Online Sustainability Map
Emory University (GA) is kicking off its Walk N' Roll campaign with the launch of an online sustainability map. Funded by an $18,000 Urban Land Institute grant with matching funds from the university, the campaign aims to reduce the university's carbon footprint by creating a pedestrian campus core to include walking, wheeling and biking. Users of the online map can find bike share locations, walking tours and trails, or embark on a scavenger hunt for Emory's LEED-certified buildings. The map also identifies educational campus gardens, a compact fluorescent light bulb recycling center and the campus farmers' market.
Duke U Announces Free Bus Service
Duke University (NC) has announced that a free, environmentally sensitive bus service will help connect downtown Durham with the university. The project will feature six new hybrid/diesel buses. Under the agreement between Duke and the City of Durham, Duke provided $375,000 in matching funds. In addition, Duke will contribute toward the annual operating costs of the service.
Dalhousie U Declares an Idle-Free Campus
Dalhousie University (NS) has implemented an idle-free campus policy. The new anti-idling guidelines for vehicles operating on campus ask that passenger-sized vehicles be turned off whenever idling periods are expected to exceed one minute. Larger vehicles are permitted three minutes. Upwards of twenty “Idle-Free” signs will be installed across campus this fall.
U California Los Angeles Releases Bike-U-mentary
The University of California, Los Angeles Sustainable Resource Center has released “UCLA Bike-U-mentary,” a short documentary that profiles real cyclists on their commute to UCLA. The film was released to coincide with Bike-to-Campus-Week activities.
U Regina Launches Bike Rental Program
The University of Regina (SK) has launched a bike rental program to promote environmental sustainability on campus through alternative and affordable transportation. The cost to rent a bike is $2 per hour. The program is available to those who pay a refundable registration fee of $40. The University hopes the bike rentals will reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Southern Illinois U Edwardsville Launches Bike Share Program
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville has launched a bike share program. The project aims to encourage a culture shift in students, faculty, and staff toward increased reliance on non-carbon modes of transportation. All currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff are eligible to check out a bike.